Sunday, November 17, 2013

Remembering Nana

I know that I must have someone within my network who can put me in touch with the Coen brothers…Can ya hook a girl up?  I need to have a chat with them about how they have managed to gain control of my life. It seems as though they have been orchestrating painfully hilarious layers over every element of it lately.

Example: I write this update from our shelter while we wait for the tornado warning to end. There have been devastating tornadoes all over this region today, and while it seems that this particular twister is far enough north to miss us entirely, the sirens went off and we figure better safe than sorry. The kids are grandly freaked by the whole thing, and trying to keep our now-toddler from sticking her hands in weird stuff (like the ever fascinating exhaust pipe on my dad's motorcycle) down here is a bit stressful...

But, at least we have all (mostly...hopefully) recovered from the food poisoning that hit all five of us the night before mom's service. Two hours before it was set to start, I was genuinely worried that none of us would be able to make it at all. We spent a miserable night up every few minutes with someone in the bathroom...thankfully we were able to make it through the service, but my stomach was doing flip flops for soooooo many reasons.

I don't feel mentally capable of writing about the service, about my emotional journey, about…everything that I feel needs to be said, expressed…Gratitude, in droves, for everyone who has come out to help; devastation at the lack of her presence in my life; anger, creeping in dark corners, at the fact that this is all happening; fear, trying to take over, about how to carry on from here, frustration, reflection…pain…

I did want to share this one thing, though:  In the hour before mom's service began, when it looked like Cadence and Hazel were too sick to attend, I asked them if they wanted to say something that I could write down and share at the service for them.  I let them both talk together and wrote down what they said with the intention of creating a brief statement from each of them, but they feed off of each other so well, and they took the prompts I gave them (what do you want to share with everyone about her? what did you like to do with her? How did Nana make you feel?) and ran…the resulting dialogue was so perfect, I couldn't have written something better had I scripted it with a dramaturg and an editor.

Thank you, Cadie and Hazelnut, for this beautiful tribute.

Cadence: I liked playing guess who with her
Hazel: I liked playing Maisy with her. And playing dress up with her.
Cadence: And I liked playing the allowance game with her and Kelly.
Hazel: Going to the park!
Cadence: Going to the water park!  I liked when I read a whole chapter book to her, and I liked reading stories to her.
Hazel: I liked reading the Oops! book with her.
Cadence:  She would sometimes correct me when I read a wrong word…like when she reminded me that it was 'stargaze'.  Nana made me feel good.
Hazel: She made me feel special.  When I was cold she would warm me up.
Cadence: Oh yeah! She would warm me up when I was cold, too! She made me feel safe when the fire alarm went off.
Hazel: When the fire alarm went off, she took me and jiejie out of the building that's what made me feel safe.
Cadence: We played together, and I liked playing with her.
Hazel: I don't know what else, I just love her.
Cadence: I love her, too.

Endlessly thankful to Zoe Adlersberg for this amazingly wonderful photo.